Saturday, January 11, 2014

God's Cadets ...

Can't help but think that this week has been an interesting one of reflection, partly because of BBC 4’s programme 'God's Cadets', partly personally because of Richard Rohr's use of 'sic et non' or 'yes... and' and in particular the challenge that comes with his insight that “and” is willing to wait for insight and integration. It stops you short when thinking about promoting your own opinion over that of others.

Programme aside which IMHO seemed a little hastily put together, or at least edited in such a way that didn't capture the life of the college, the maelstrom of personal criticism on social media from internal voices was astounding. Seemingly one thing hasn't changed, everyone knows how to run the college better than it is currently! 

I stumbled upon this quote this week “Today our prime educational objective must be to form men-and-women-for-others; . . . men and women who cannot even conceive of love of God which does not include love for the least of their neighbors; men and women completely convinced that love of God which does not issue in justice for others is a farce.” Pedro Arrupe, S.J.

I was proud of being part of William Booth College for the 10 or so years we were involved there, and continue to be proud of how WBC continues to shape the thinking, being and doing of those who embrace that particular path (aka, strangely in my opinion, giving things up!) beyond that of being farcical.

Probably the jury will be always out on what God's Cadets did and didn't portray

The new Richard Rohr daily emails ...

The Richard Rohr daily email meditations have just got a whole lot better in my opinion. Not just words but a whole rhythm, it culminates with a Saturday résumé which is really helpful. Here's today's.

RememberYes, And
As Franciscans, we were told that our job was to somehow make the Word of God accessible to the ordinary person, so that it would bring them to life.(Sunday)
If Jesus can listen and ask questions . . . who are we to think we are better than him? (Monday)
The systematic asking of questions opened up wonder and encouragedspiritual curiosity. . . . (Tuesday)
Non-dual people use knowledge for the transformation of persons and structures, but most especially to change themselves and to see reality with a new eye and heart. (Wednesday)
Sacred texts always maximize your possibilities for life and love, which is why we call them sacred. (Thursday)
My methodology is very simple; I will try to interpret Scripture the way Jesus did. (Friday)

RestLectio Divina

Read the following passage slowly and aloud four times. With the first reading, listen with your heart’s ear for a phrase or word that stands out for you. During the second reading, reflect on what touches you, perhaps speaking that response aloud or writing in a journal. Third, respond with a prayer or expression of what you have experienced and what it calls you to. Fourth, rest in silence after the reading.
The Shining Word “And”
“And” teaches us to say yes
“And” allows us to be both-and
“And” teaches us to be patient and long-suffering
“And” is willing to wait for insight and integration
“And” does not divide the field of the moment
“And” helps us to live in the always imperfect now
“And” keeps us inclusive and compassionate toward everything
“And” demands that our contemplation become action
“And” insists that our action is also contemplative
“And” is the mystery of paradox in all things
“And” is the way of mercy
“And” makes daily, practical love possible

Thursday, January 09, 2014

'...the essence of being the body of Christ'

Here are a couple of quotes that have been bouncing around my head, one for 14 years, the other for 14 minutes since I read it in my daily dose of Nouwen.

“In the post-Christian era, the medium is the message, and the medium of evangelism is regarded with extreme distaste by the surrounding culture….evangelism easily becomes the marketing ploy for Christianity akin to selling encyclopaedias. Various techniques are used in a highly manipulative agenda designed to get prospective customers to “sign up”. This is about as far away from the story of Jesus of Nazareth as it is possible to get.”

[Riddell, M. (1998) Threshold of the Future: Reforming the Church in the Post-Christian West. SPCK]

"The Church as the people of God can truly embody the living Christ among us only when the poor remain its most treasured part.  Care for the poor, therefore, is much more than Christian charity.  It is the essence of being the body of Christ." 

Henri Nouwen

There's insight and challenge there!